Kenai River Alaska Fishing Trips
Save Now On All Fishing Packages
15% Off All Premium Packages
10% Off All All-Inclusive Packages
Discover Fully Customizable Alaskan Fishing Vacations
Plan Your Vacation On The Kenai
Drifters Fishing Packages are designed to lift the weight of vacation planning off your shoulders. Our Packages simplify your trip by including accommodations at our lodge, daily fishing trips or other activities, transportation, and meals all in one reservation. You tell us how long you want to stay and how you want to spend your time and we will build the Package for you.
2 Package Levels to Meet Your Needs
If a private cabin is a must, the Premium Package is perfect. Small families and couples often prefer the Premium Package because they get their own cabin with bathroom, living area and kitchenette.
The name says it all. This is the only option that includes transportation and all your meals. Accommodations are a private cabin.
Our Most Popular Packages
Trophy Rainbow Trout
Many anglers come to Alaska for the first time with salmon in mind, but after a few visits they quickly realize that the Kenai River is home to some of the best Trophy Rainbow Trout fishing in the world. Most of the Rainbow Trout are native to the Kenai River and most of the rainbows are resident fish (they never leave the Kenai River). Due to the fish being native and growing to impressive sizes, our guides practice catch and release to ensure there are big fish for years to come.
With over a million salmon entering the Kenai River every year, the Native Rainbow Trout are provided with a never-ending supply of food. This enables the Rainbow Trout on the Kenai River to reach epic sizes and proportions. For anglers dreaming of catching a prized 30” trout, this is the river for you. The Kenai River is one of the few watersheds in the world where 30” + Rainbow Trout can be found regularly and are hooked into! In Alaska, it is certainly one of the most easily accessible Trophy Rainbow fisheries. Right on the road system, there are spots you can still pull over and throw a line in or you can hire a guide to get you to the tried and true “honey holes” by boat.
The Kenai River provides anglers with 82 miles of river to fish; creating endless opportunities for beginners, families, and experts. No matter what your time constraints, we have the trip for you. Our professional guides are some of the very best and will work tirelessly to ensure your fishing trip is that of a lifetime. We will customize your trip to fit your experience and needs to make a trip like no other!
Alaskan Salmon Fishing
For salmon fishing, the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska is hard to beat. The reason is simple: the Kenai Peninsula has Native Wild Alaska Salmon in abundance. We believe the great variety, larger fish size, plentifulness and easy accessibility makes it the best place in the world to fish for salmon.
King Salmon are the largest of the salmon species. The Kenai River is home to the world record King Salmon weighing in at 97.4 pounds and measuring in at over 5 ft in length! On average these beasts weigh between 15-25lbs with fish over 30lbs hitting the nets regularly.
Our guides have come to prefer the calmer, quieter “drift only” waters of the Kasilof for King fishing. Additionally, the Kasilof is a hatchery enhanced river, providing anglers with more opportunities at these epic river Monsters. In recent years, fish returns have declined on the Kenai and in the interest of allowing the species to regenerate and hopefully make a comeback, we do not fish on the Kenai for King Salmon.
Every June heralds the annual migration of the Sockeye Salmon to the rivers and streams of Alaska. Better known as Reds, these fish are one of the most iconic and important to Alaska’s biodiversity. Reds are a blast to catch! They are born in the river normally very close to a lake. The newly born smolt then spend 2-3 years in the lake before migrating out to the ocean. 1-3 years later they return to the exact location of their birth, Amazing!
The first run of Sockeye Salmon begins to enter the Russian River in early-mid June and the season opens June 11th. Fish during this run average 4-6 pounds with 8-10 pounders being landed often. We are proud to offer anglers excellent opportunities for the best walk-in and drift fishing to be found. The second run of Sockeye Salmon begins to enter the Kenai River system mid-July and typically run strong into the first week of August. Sockeye during the second run typically average between 6-8 pounds with 12 pounders hitting the net regularly. Toward the end of August and into September you will see these fish in the rivers and creeks turning red with a green head indicating they are spawning. This is a great time to observe them spawning as well as a great time to observe the Alaskan bears that feed on them.
With over a million Sockeye returning to the Kenai River system annually they are an essential part of our ecosystem and provide a thrill to both anglers and sightseers alike.
Fall heralds the arrival of the Silver Salmon to the Kenai River and its tributaries. These hard-fighting fish typically start entering the river system in mid-August and run strong into October. Silver Salmon are one of the most aggressive of the salmon species and offer anglers a fine opportunity to cast streamers or lures in an attempt to hook into one of these fantastic fish. They are well known for their aggressive takes and acrobatic displays. Silvers typically average 6-8 pounds but fish over 15 pounds are frequently caught. Silver Salmon are often thought to have fireworks or motors attached to them but this is a common misconception; they just fight that hard!
Like all salmon species, they are born in the river before migrating out into the ocean to feed. They typically begin returning to the Kenai River in their fourth year of life; in August and are available through September.
We target Silver Salmon with both fly and conventional tackle. Fishing for Silver Salmon is a unique experience that is sure to leave you wishing for more. We have several options for our silver salmon fishermen; a guided two-mile hike into a small boulder studded stream where you will follow the stream bed down, fishing pockets of water along the way or our guides can take you by drift boat to the various sections of the Kenai River, throwing spinners and casting flies into the shallow holding waters.
Fly Out Fishing
Fly-In Fishing Alpine Lakes
Drifters Lodge partners with some of the best backcountry pilots on the Kenai Peninsula to deliver you and your Drifters guide to one of several remote high alpine lakes in our local Chugach Mountains. Feel the quiet settle in as the plane departs, leaving you and your guide to work the lake for Arctic Grayling and/or Rainbow Trout.
The trout are beautifully colored, and the grayling are often wonderfully aggressive, giving you the opportunity to experiment with fly rods and ultra-light spinning rods. Enjoy your lunch surrounded by mountain peaks and take a break from fishing to explore the streams and shore around the lake. The pilot will return in 4-6 hours to pick you up.
Many people find this trip to be the absolute high point of their entire vacation. It is a freeing experience to be removed from civilization and to not see another person all day long. That being said, safety is the top consideration. Your guide will be prepared with survival gear and a satellite phone in case of emergencies.
Trip available mid to late June through mid-August depending on thawing and weather.
Fly-in Salmon Fishing and Bear Viewing
For an incredible salmon experience, take a float plane across Cook Inlet to the edge of Lake Clark National Park. Here, you will meet your guide, who will lead you to some of the best bear viewing and fishing opportunities around at Wolverine Creek. Fish for sockeye salmon from a spot on the bank before heading out in the boat to seek out some bears doing their own fishing. Don’t forget your zoom lens to take advantage of the incredible photo ops. With any luck, you’ll return from this trip with amazing pictures of bears in their natural habitat and a bag of fresh salmon fillets to enjoy yourself.
Lodge Rooms, Cabins & Houses
Riverfront Lodging on the Kenai River
Cabins, Lodge Rooms & Houses on the Banks of the Kenai River
You may book individual rooms in the River House. These single room rentals are great for singles and couples. There are 5 rooms to choose from. Each has a slightly different layout, but all are comfortably furnished with a microwave, mini-fridge, coffee pot, and all the fixings.
The main floor of the house has three bedrooms: Rainbow 1, Rainbow 2 and Rainbow 3. There are two full bathrooms shared between these rooms. The top floor of the house has two larger bedrooms: the King and Silver rooms. These two rooms share one bathroom and a deck area. Please see the room floor plans for bed layouts.
As part of your room rental, you will have shared access to the living spaces in the house. The living room, dining area and kitchen are all located on the main floor.
Our private cabins are cozy, rustic, and the perfect place to relax after a full day of fishing or activities on the Kenai Peninsula. If you find it hard to go inside after spending the day immersed in beautiful Alaska scenery, don’t worry. All cabins have spectacular river and mountain views.
Drifters cabins are fully equipped for all your needs. Each cabin has a sleeping loft, living/dining room, kitchenette unit with a 2-burner stove, mini-fridge, and sink, and a bathroom. The cabins have slightly different floor plans and bed layouts, starting at one queen and two twins.
Our riverfront houses are located right on the banks of the Kenai River headwaters in Cooper Landing, Alaska. Imagine being nestled in the glaciated valley with the Kenai and Chugach Mountains on either side, and the turquoise river gliding by just off your deck. The Russian House and the River House are the two houses available for rent on premise, but we also have a network of other options for housing rentals around the Cooper Landing area, and we are happy to find the best property to fit your group and needs.
Bob & Stephanie: I just wanted to let you know how much we (myself, my daughter, my son-in-law) enjoyed our rafting trip with Evan on 9/6/13. He did a fabulous job pointing out animals and things of interest…learned about Bob’s rock!! The rafting trip was one of the highlights of my Alaska vacation/cruise. thanks to Evan. Regards, Doris Schalka.
Dear Bob, Thank you for such a lovely stay. All 7 of us had a SUPER time! Drifter’s Lodge is fantastic! We highly recommend it! It’s beautiful there, as well as being centrally located for hiking, fishing, visiting, Seward and Homer, Exit Glacier (we went all the way to the top!) Thank Jefferson for the kayak arrangement. 2 loons seranaded us 3 gals right next to our kayak on Peterson Lake… a mystical experience. Thanks again, Bettie and Rudy Rikansrud.
Dear Bob and all at Drifters Lodge, We loved it!! That was one of the finest vacations we have ever taken! The cabin, the staff, the guides and the fishing were incredible. Thank you so much and we plan to see you next year!
I just wanted to tell you how much fun we had with our special guide, Marisa. She was wonderful with both my 85-year old mother and 4-year old grandson (who, by the way, has talked non-stop about “rowing” the boat). We all laughed so hard during our trip that my that my sides are still aching. Marisa was wonderful and if we manage to go again next year, we’ll definitely request her. She’s first class all the way!
Hey there! Just wanted to say that we LOVED our stay at Drifter’s Lodge!! We have already recommended you to several of our friends. We look forward to stopping by to say “howdy” with the whole family as we pass through on August 29. I have attached the fish picture we showed you as we left! Thanks Again!!
Bob, Just wanted to put in a plug for Matty. Float on Thursday was awesome (except for the wind blowing us back upriver). While I don’t float with guides a whole lot, out of the half dozen trips in the last 2 of 3 years this way was by far the funnest one. He put in a hard day’s work to get us some awesome fish, and other than rowing against the wind, seemed to have a good time also. Kudos. Thanks Curtis
Hi there, we just wanted to say a big thank you for a brilliant time fishing yesterday afternoon. Pat was excellent as a guide, and extremely patient as we learnt how to fish. It was a real highlight to our vacation, and none of our friends back in the UK can really believe we managed to catch fish at our first ever attempt! You looked after us really well and made it very easy with getting fitted out, getting our licenses (and even helping us back the RV out!)